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Colorblind cartoonist thrives in art

By Zhang Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2014-08-02 07:43

Colorblind cartoonist thrives in art
Lin Ji injects her own coming-of-age stories into the adventures of her cartoon character Ghost, cute, nightcap-sporting elf who is generating love and positive energy on the Chinese Internet. Provided to China Daily

The Chinese Dream | Lin Ji

Descendant of one of the most famous Lin families overcomes obstacles in pursuit of her dream.

Two months ago, the creator of the popular cartoon character Ghost, who works under the nom de plume Viviling, published a new book We Still Need Dreams, But What If They Come True? in which the character relates the author's own coming-of-age stories in humorous fashion.

Viviling, whose real name is Lin Ji, is a 28-year-old Beijinger. The name "Ji" means "to remember" in Chinese: "My father gave me this name, because he wanted me to remember the history of the Lin family," says the seventh-generation direct descendant of Lin Zexu, a commissioner and grand scholar during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), whose confiscation and destruction of opium in Humen, Guangdong province, precipitated the First Opium War (1839-42).

In the new book, Lin tells seven stories related to her own adolescence, each of which corresponds to the seven colors of the rainbow and represent hope, warmth, patience, dreams, tolerance, wisdom, and growth. It's a book about dreams and love.

However, despite her penchant for colors , she is colorblind, which has challenged her artistic pursuit all along.

Although she loves painting, she often finds it difficult to select the correct color. All of her childhood paintings were rendered in black and white, which led to mockery from her classmates and left her with low self-esteem.

"I don't remember when I started to draw. When I was a kid my family was poor, and I didn't have many toys. One day, my mother saw me copying drawings from a picture book, so she bought me a lot of pencils. Every time I finished a picture, I stuck it on the wall, and soon the whole house was covered. So, my childhood memories are all about painting," Lin says.

By the time when she graduated from college, Lin was determined to become a professional cartoonist.

So after working for several years as a designer in the online games industry, she started to draw a cartoon character that would be easily acceptable and memorable to ordinary readers.

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